MKs Demand Ehud Barak Be Summoned to Explain Claims That Netanyahu Harmed Israel's Security

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Barak, left, and Netanyahu arriving for a press conference in Tel Aviv, November 14, 2012.Credit: AFP

Zionist Union MK Omer Bar-Lev called on Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter on Thursday to convene an emergency meeting of its intelligence subcommittee and to summon former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to appear before it, following Barak's claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was responsible for a "series of incidents" that occurred in recent months and that harmed Israel's security.

Bar-Lev, who serves as the deputy chairman of the Knesset subcommittee on IDF preparedness and ongoing security, wrote to Dichter that Barak spoke of strategic threats to Israel and that a classified and closed-doors discussion on the issue should take place in the committee, and not a public discourse "on stages and with microphones." Bar-Lev noted that he expects Dichter to respond to his request and to convene the meeting and summon Barak as soon as possible.

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon, also a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, called for Barak to be summoned before the committee to explain his remarks.

"Barak cast serious aspersions on Netanyahu's ability to defend the State of Israel's security interests, and his words cannot be left alone," Galon said, adding that his remarks require in-depth investigation and cannot be hidden from the public nor their representatives.

On Wednesday evening, Barak said that an incident that harmed Israel's security recently took place as a result of Netanyahu's mistaken judgment and his rocky relations with U.S. President Barack Obama. Barak made his comments at a conference of the Darkenu movement in Rishon Letzion, and noted that he could give no further details as to the incident because of its sensitivity.

"There's also a heavy price in another incident in which, again, [there was a] worrying mix of inability to judge deep security interests and the priorities they dictate alongside a lack of internalization of the potential of cooperation with the United States, as well as careless operational behavior," Barak said on Wednesday. "All these led to a most worrisome exposure of Israel to a central security challenge. Due to the sensitivity of the matter I won't be able to clarify further," he said.

Senior officials from the Prime Minister's Bureau told Haaretz that they don’t know which "security incident" Barak was referring to. "We examined the issue. There's no such thing. Period," his bureau said. 

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